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Patriots Owner Kraft: I was wrong to put faith in NFL

That is the title of this piece; Web Link

This isn't a life and death situation. Nobody has died, but it does speak to what some call injustice, even if it is an NFL issue.

First of all, we are still a ways from the start of the NFL season. Secondly, I hold no hope at all for our Niners in the upcoming season and likely many more after that after the all-knowing York dismembered and dismantled the only winning team we've had since the Montana and Young 'dynasties'. I sure miss those days and those guys.

The NFL is a very tight good old boys network, with Goodell being the owner's marionette from the day he was hired. He maintains that posture today.

This is a troubling issue in more ways than one, but I would identify the fact that the accused, Tom Brady, has no evidence against him; nothing but conjecture and rumor. The accusations have placed a black mark on the last Super Bowl, which is more than unfortunate. And the ironic part of it all is that some are acting like the opposing teams of the Patriot's Super Bowl run played with some other footballs in their games against the Pat's. Ridiculous.

It gets even more ridiculous, however, when one considers the protocol for the footballs used in games, including Championship games. In almost all other sports, the referee/umpire crews are responsible for game balls, not the competitors. That sounds reasonable to me and has me scratching my head as to why and how it is that the NFL doesn't see the potential for conflict by having the very competitors choose their 'weapons' of choice.

This is, in one regard, a no brainer. The officiating crew should be responsible for the equipment used in games. Simple.

So what should happen now, versus what will likely happen? In my opinion, this matter should get the attention of the league and should be enough to change equipment policy giving the officials that responsibility. Secondly, and without proof, the league should get over themselves and let it go. If Goodell has proof, real proof, then he should expose it. To date, he has not. Further, the NFL appeal process is governed by the very person that passed the original judgment! Neat trick.

The NFL generates in excess of $10 Billion a year in revenues: Web Link We pay that bill and they want more. One would think they'd be a little more "professional" in their rules and approach. Roger Goodell has $300 Million reasons to do a good job in promoting the league and doing it right: Web Link

Instead, what we now have is this: "Patriots Owner Kraft: I was wrong to put faith in NFL", Web Link This, coming from the man that sits on the committee that determines Goodell's salary and who has had a very close relationship with Goodell. I'd say that relationship has soured some and it all could have been avoided had Mr Goodell done the right thing and farmed out the appeal so the evidence could be independently judged.

And to think; with all the NFL players in recent years arrested for violence and drugs, Web Link one would think and expect the league to clean it up and fly right. Apparently the good old boy network is just too profitable in the short term to think about it.

In the end, one has to ask; what does the behavior of the NFL say to ur kids and the rest of us?


Comments

Patriots should have been stripped of the title, IMHO, and Brady fired.


I'm sure that there are some that agree with that sentiment, but I might remind you, Coasters, that as of this moment all we have is conjecture. I have not seen any factual basis to support Goodell's assertions, let alone actions.

If it were me, I'd fire Goodell first, dig as deep as I could into what actual facts there may be and move from there. An independent commission or body would likely be best for that.

In my view, we have two major points of consideration: 1) deflated, over-inflated or just right, both teams played with the same porridge during all the games last year - so a reasonable argument could be that neither QB had an advantage over the other during any game & 2) who the heck thought up, let alone proposed the genius move of allowing the teams governance over the balls used? No other sport acts that stupid.

This, to me, is more about the NFL than it is about what teams a person likes or dislikes. Team loyalty has no place at this table as far as I'm concerned. Between the thuggery, the drugs, the reprehensible behavior of so many NFL players - including murder - it seems to me that the NFL leadership has more important issues to deal with.

The league set themselves up for this "Deflate-gate" matter. Here we are at the end of July and this is still news? C'mon, man; really? It speaks volumes that Goodell has taken a month to review an appeal to his own decision & that he is the one reviewing his decision.

I have no idea what factual information is available, but I do know that I haven't seen anything resembling facts in this matter, yet - and certainly nothing to be able to come to any conclusions. All we've seen is "leaked" info. So one has to ask; who "leaked" the info, why and was any of this "leaked" info accurate in any measure?

Were this a court of law, the case would have been thrown out right after it was announced. I guess that in the NFL one is innocent until proven guilty in cases like spousal abuse, bar fights, murder, drug use and DUIs, but guilty until proven innocent on such critical matters as ball inflation ... the very same ball that both QBs use in competition.

Somebody needs to realign their priorities. I'd start with Goodell.


Here is Brady's response today on Facebook: Web Link

I'd say his comments are both fair and reasonable based on what we have seen to date.

The old "Show me the money" comment should be altered in this case to "Show me the evidence."


Brady destroyed his cell phone. Case closed!


BTW George during the 2015 49ers' games do I have to read about your anger towards York all season?!


"...do I have to read about your anger towards York all season?!" Well Seal, once again I find myself in the unique position of having to tell you that you are free to do whatever you like!

In terms of speech, America protects our rights to it (check out

In terms of listening, which includes reading posts on TA, we all once again have the right to read or ignore the written word.

Your choice, Seal. One might suppose that as an elected individual, you'd already know that stuff, but it appears you don't - unless of course you are trying to make an oh so subtle point.

Now that's not what you are trying to do, is it Seal? And I thought you better than that. You sure didn't seem to mind my repetition of the SMC Civil Grand Jury Report when we were in the throes of a recall.

Maybe it's just what suits you that you prefer to see and read. If so, that is a sad commentary on your behalf.

Have a great day/week, Seal. All the best.


Oops; silly me. I kind of left you hanging with the "(check out and blank!

That should read; (check out Web Link)

Sorry for any inconvenience.


George you aren't, according to Talk About's rules, supposed to out readers and posters, (even when you are mad at their post).


Look, what Brady did (yes, I know "allegedly") was to cheat. To give himself an advantage. It's disgusting. All that money, fame, opportunity and attention and the guy pulls a bonehead move like making the balls softer.

It's just another famous athlete/rapper/actor/politician that thinks he's so "special" as to be above normal standards of comportment. I've no patience or mercy for these folks.


"George you aren't, according to Talk About's rules, supposed to out readers and posters ..." And I have and will continue to abide by the TA rules established and provided by both the Editor and Publisher of said newspaper.

I have not identified you or any other TA poster, nor do I intend to. There are many elected individuals here on the coastside, on the peninsula and throughout the Bay Area. Although you may be one, you are one of a great many.

Do you really feel so special as to go out of your way to insult others, then take umbrage when challenged? With all your attributes, and you certainly have a few, you might want to check that ego at the door.

Once again (and hopefully for the last time), have a great day/week, Seal. All the best.

@ Coasters; I can certainly see where you are coming from - and you are far from alone. But if you were to take a more objective approach, you would see and know that what some may call an advantage to one QB is of equal advantage to the other QB. Both QBs played with the same ball at all times.

The argument that I've seen that probably is true is that a slightly "deflated" ball is easier to control. That makes sense. But as each team has a QB on the field during a game, particularly a Play-off Game or Championship game and both QBs use the same balls, where is that "advantage" being talked about?

Furthermore, I once again feel the need to ask how it is that the NFL is so special, so immune to temptation, so insulated from every other sport that the actual teams playing in any game have anything to do with the balls being used in that contest. That alone seems like a huge gaffe and a contradiction to fair play.

In my view, it is Goodell that needs to go, along with his entire staff. The structure of the Administration of the NFL should be scrutinized, revamped and independent.

Your argument is reasonable, but based on emotion and not the facts in the matter, Coasters. Were you to take a broader view, like the one I am proposing, we'd be past this bump in the NFL road and better off for it going forward.

For us as fans, it is of course about winning and all the emotion that goes with it. I absolutely loved it when I was able to call my friends back east and brag, rub it in and just generally make their life miserable for a few minutes (always in fun), just as they take their opportunities when they can. That's part of the fun.

But when we are discussing the alleged violation of NFL rules, which would be akin to violating the law for us mere mortals, I would have to believe the same standard of innocent until proven guilty should apply.

Further - how is it that Goodell, with his $300 Million contract, can sweep the violence and drugs aside, but take this as a pinnacle moment and without any proof, convict an organization, an NFL owner and one of the best QBs in NFL history of something that had the rules been right could never had happened?

Did Brady deflate competition balls going into the Championship run? It may sound that way based on "leaks", but we will never know. Equally, we will never know the motivation behind the efforts to push this story.

Show me the proof and I'm right there with you Coasters. Without the benefit of that - Fire Goodell ASAP and restructure the NFLs Administration from top to bottom. Oh, and going forward, have the referees handle all ball issues going into and through NFL games. End of story.


George, I am not insulting you, and ego has nothing to do with my writings on TA. I am just giving you my point of view. My opinions regarding your constant trashing of the 49ers' management is just getting old IMHO. And, your points about Brady are just that opinions.


Sorry, George, but I think on this one, you've sacked yourself, fumbled and had it returned for a touchdown.

First, this is not a criminal case, so "proof" isn't necessary.

Second, you may consider the facts and evidence to be "zero"... but some very credible outside observers would vehemently disagree: Web Link

Third, the fact that Goodell is an complete ass is irrelevant. Goodell didn't do the investigation... and the guy who did, Ted Wells, has an absolutely sterling reputation and a very strong point of view: Web Link

(And 3A, if you're going to take the NFL's poor reputation into account, you have to take the Patriots' too. This is the cheatingest organization in major league sports -- they illegally filmed their opponents for more than five years before they were caught, including allegedly the Rams practice before the 2002 Super Bowl.)

Fourth, your assertion that both quarterbacks had the same advantage is just plain untrue. (I was a sportscaster for 12 years and covered the Patriots for five.) It's like saying that Gaylord Perry didn't get an advantage from throwing the spitball because the other pitchers could use the same wet ball. You gotta know how to take advantage of the alteration. In Brady's case, he has unusually small hands for a QB.

Fifth, even Brady's most supportive teammates are backing away today in shock at the news that he ordered team employees to destroy his cellphone after he found out it would be evidence.

I admire the zip you've tried to put on your pass for Brady, but I think your delivery looks like a combination of Tim Tebow, Ryan Leaf and Bobby Douglass (remember him?). Way off target on this one.


That's a great catch, Mike.


Good input, Mike; but I might push back on a bit of it.

Starting with Brady's hand size. We all of course know what 'they' say about small hands, but that is irrelevant here as both QBs used the same balls both in the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl.

To suggest that Luck, for example, didn't achieve the same benefits during the AFC Championship Game as Brady is, imho, a foolish suggestion. Both played with the same balls during the game. Both use their hands to deliver the ball. If Brady had an advantage, so did Luck. That, of course, would be true for Wilson, the QB for Seattle, in the Super Bowl, if in fact the balls had been tampered with.

To your "First, this is not a criminal case, so "proof" isn't necessary." comment: you are correct regarding this case as so far it is an 'in-house' decision ... one that stinks of control; but that is so far.

The Players Union has filed a case in the effort and hopes that this matter be adjudicated. The rules to that game are beyond Goodell and his ridiculous efforts to 'find the truth'.

You certainly hit a nerve regarding the Patriot's slimy (for lack of a better word) history, but that should have no bearing on this particular incident. By asserting so, you are assuming and pre-judging, insinuating guilt here by past actions. You may be right, but equally you may be wrong.

Goodall may not have done the investigation, but he was Lord & Master of the decision making process, reaching judgment from Wells' efforts and other factors, passing out the verdict, the punishment, then presiding over the resulting appeal (of his own decision mind you) and denying the appeal. Stevie Wonder could see the conflict here.

I would offer, from your first link: "The NFL has finished its investigation into the New England Patriots and concluded that the team likely intentionally broke league rules and deflated footballs used in the AFC title game."

You may note "... likely intentionally broke league rules..." "Likely" and "did" are two entirely different words with entirely different meanings. I hate to be sticky here and you are correct that this is not a criminal case, it is equally not some backroom parlor game with no repercussions. Those repercussions are huge, not only to Kraft, the Patriots organization and Brady, but to the entire NFL and all that enjoy it.

Bottom line here, in my view, is that the entire affair should never have even been possible, let alone become an issue. The League officials should be responsible for the balls, not the participants. Further, to be fair, real evidence needs to be the backbone of the process. Without it you've got bugatz, nothing - but a $300 Million marionette goon flexing his 'muscle'.

The Patriots organization has been an example of a winning organization over time. They are far from perfect and it has been noted (and proven) that they will take advantage of what most won't even think about to win. I like and respect the drive, even if/when I disagree with the method.

All that said, we'll see how this all plays out. I stand by all my remarks on Goodell and on protocol adjustments. Your points are good, Mike, and I can understand your points of view. We just disagree on a couple of points. We'll have to go to the replay booth to see if the fumble you claim actually happened. My knee may have been down, which would negate that touchdown return.


Great written summary above by Mike Gaynes. Mike's background as a sportscaster really put this matter in the proper prospective.


There is not a single professional team or any college team that will not do anything that they think will go undetected in an effort to win. That includes our local teams. Some may remember players using HGH and owners/general managers bribing government officials.

Professional sports has only one goal. That is winning to produce a profit. The only rule that cannot be violated is "don't get caught". The Patriots violated the only "rule" in the game - they got caught.

Thousands of violations occur annually. Recruiting violations, under the table money for college athletes, coverup of minor crimes by professional athletes, executives, and owners, trainers and team doctors "liberally " treating and medicating athletes, teams and agents negotiating at times that are not legitimate, and on and on and on.

Don't Get Caught. Go 49ers!!!!!!!!!!!


Boney, that's so cynical, but probably and sadly true.


^^^ I admire the zip you've tried to put on your pass for Brady, but I think your delivery looks like a combination of Tim Tebow, Ryan Leaf and Bobby Douglass (remember him?). ^^^

Maybe not Tebow. They say he has improved. He may make the Eagles cut: Web Link


George...

>>"To suggest that Luck, for example, didn't achieve the same benefits during the AFC Championship Game as Brady is, imho, a foolish suggestion. Both played with the same balls during the game. Both use their hands to deliver the ball. If Brady had an advantage, so did Luck."<<

Sorry, but you're just flat wrong about this. For reasons that are too boring to get into, a football gets a bit more slippery when it gets cold. The smaller your hand, the more likely you are to lose your grip on a cold ball. That's why Brady wanted the balls softened, so he could maintain his usual grip. Luck didn't NEED that extra advantage. He's got hands the size of lounge chairs, which is why he carries a football like King Kong carried Fay Wray. He didn't need the softer ball to maintain his grip. Brady did.

Now, as to this line:

>>"you are assuming and pre-judging, insinuating guilt here by past actions."<<

Isn't that exactly what you are doing with Goodell and the NFL, only more colorfully and at greater length? Come on, tell me your opinion of Goodell hasn't impacted your opinion about Brady.

Fact is, I pretty much agree with you on Goodell. But whatever the issues surrounding Goodell and the NFL and the union and the rest of it, what nobody really doubts anymore -- even Brady's teammates -- is that Brady cheated, lied about it and concealed it. That's what happened, mate. IMO he is getting exactly what he deserves, no matter the qualifications of the guy dishing it out.

As for the "huge" impact on the NFL... come on, we're both old enough to remember Hornung and Karras, superstars of equal stature to Brady, losing an entire year apiece, and the NFL survived just fine. Brady's getting four lousy games. Let's not make this more than it is.

I sympathize with your outrage about the NFL's issues, but this is the wrong case to create a cause celebre'. Goodell is the bad guy about 364 days a year, but this time it's Brady.


Hey Mike, have I told you lately that I luv you man.


You have, and back at ya, big fella!

And try to keep love in your heart as you watch your Niners this season.


"Patriots' fight with NFL gets nastier with release of emails", Web Link

"There are exclamation points and words in all CAPS, harsh attacks, repeated pleadings for action and eventually just befuddlement. And that's just the New England Patriots' side of intraleague emails that the team released Friday."

"From the NFL there was mostly dismissive arrogance, if any response at all."

"On Friday the Patriots released a series of February emails from spokesman Stacey James and general counsel Robyn Glaser to the league office begging for the NFL to correct numerous erroneous and highly prejudicial stories that New England asserts the league made up and then leaked to ESPN."

"It includes an early ESPN report that claimed 11 of 12 footballs in the AFC title game were 2 pounds per square inch or more under the minimum, which turned the story into a scandal because it suggest significant and purposeful manipulation. In fact, the NFL's own measurements showed that story completely wrong and the deflation levels were far less, some even within an acceptable range."

"The Patriots were convinced the NFL leaked the fake story in the first place. The least the NFL could do, New England argued, was set the record straight."

"I cannot comprehend how withholding the range of PSIs measured in the game is beneficial to the NFL or the Patriots," James continued. "… if we had been provided this data within days of the original report, we could have changed the narrative of this story before it led all national news and the damage was done. It has been over 4 weeks and we still can't get a simple detail that I assume was available the night of the AFC Championship Game!"

"Later Glaser, the Patriots' attorney, forwarded this to NFL general counsel, Jeff Pash, asking the league to correct the inaccurate info, not to mention stop leaking fake information in the first place. Glaser mentioned the Patriots asked that Ted Wells' report be extended to include an investigation into the media leaks and the NFL refused to expand the scope of the probe."

"Pash again dismissed concerns and again asserted there was no issue with leaks. The NFL again declined to issue or publicly release the actual measurements. Glaser grew increasingly heated, calling the response "disingenuous."

"Jeff, you need to step up," Glaser wrote. "I can't tell you the number of times you've told me that you and your office work for us member clubs. It has been made resoundingly clear to us that your words are just a front. They have no substance at all.

"If you worked for us, you would have already released today a statement to the effect of, 'ESPN, you've got it wrong. You do not have full information, you are irresponsibly reporting information that is untrue and you need to stop,'" Glaser wrote.

"Pash responded that he considered that a "personal and accusatory" [gee, you think?] and that was about it."

"The false stories were never refuted until the facts came out buried deep in Wells' 243-page report."

Maybe something happened and maybe it didn't. I am not convinced one way or another; but one thing I am very convinced of is that Roger Goodell, the NFL's way overpaid $300 Million man is an arrogant asshole that can't seem to place truth and his job before his huge ego. Goodall and all his staff needs to go.


One person'r perspective on this matter; "Brady's case bolstered by document release", Web Link

"If the NFL has anything more on the Patriots quarterback, as I have been inclined to believe for months, it's not contained in these documents. If Brady is going to be further embarrassed by anything in these proceedings, it's not a part of the record submitted to Judge Richard Berman on Tuesday. If any side has an advantage through transparency, at this juncture it looks to be Brady, not Roger Goodell."

"It doesn't change my mind in terms of whether I think Brady is guilty or innocent (I believe the Pats were doing something and Brady was aware of it). I still think this is headed to a settlement, not open court. And there is certainly some material contained in the transcript that doesn't make Brady look good (Goodell was correct to determine Brady "destroyed" his phone)."

"But there are no bombs, nothing that substantially hurts his case or image. I believed that the release of information, or the threat thereof, would play to the advantage of one side or the other. And now the results are in. The last 24 hours have helped Brady more than the league."

Settlement, huh? And just how might that work? suspend Brady's four game suspension? suspend or annul the Fine against the Pats?

Call me crazy, but I don't think Goodell or anyone else in the League admin will be getting a Christmas card this year.

Let's see how this plays out (weak, but intended).


"The arrogance of Roger Goodell", Web Link

Finally, some sense of reason is delivered in federal court by a federal judge.

Here's how it starts out: "Deflate-gate was a case born of ignorance and lost through arrogance."

"There was so much arrogance that Roger Goodell was sitting there in April – after New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft conceded defeat, two draft picks, a million bucks and incalculable prestige – and the commissioner still couldn't resist pushing for more."

"A pound of Patriots flesh wasn't enough. He had to get one from Tom Brady too, and, now, after getting slapped around Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman, it's Goodell who is the one walking out of here wounded and Brady gliding into the season as some kind of unsuspended martyr."

Poor Roger; slapped silly by federal court Judge Berman, as he should have been. Goodall, the $300 Million man, proves to be just another horse's ass; a self-ritious self-important moron making way more than he should and blackening the eyes of a League that already is overcome with very serious issues that Goodell has seemed to ignore.

The NFL has problems - very serious problems. Domestic abuse, drugs, drinking and driving, assault, rapes and murder by players - and Goodell wants to ignore all that and focus on and highlight his own importance over balls? Really?

How about changing the rules to make the referees responsible for all game balls and moving on.

Oh, no, can't do that. That would have made too much sense and not allowed Goodell the chance of a lifetime; the chance to show the world just how big and bad he is and show the world that his unit is bigger even than a favored owner and multiple Super Bowl Champion.

What really happened? Who knows...and That is the problem here that Goodell seems to have completely missed.

Time for Mr Goodell to go. Bring in someone that actually cares more about the League than his own profile and clean up the NFL. That would be a very good result of this entire mess.

C'ya Roger. Have a nice day.


"N.Y. law professor files deflate-gate brief accusing NFL of fraud", Web Link

"A decorated New York law professor has submitted a third-party brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the NFL's deflate-gate appeal, striking at the heart of the league's own assertion that a judge should only overturn commissioner Roger Goodell's ruling in the case of "fraud or dishonesty."

"New York Law School professor Robert Blecker, winner of Harvard Law's Oberman Prize for best graduating thesis, argued in a 34-page report that the NFL's investigation into Tom Brady's alleged ball-tampering was "infected with bias, unfairness, evident partiality and occasional fraud."

"Detailing 1) The league's false PSI measurement leaks to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, 2) Its "literally true but contextually misleading assertion that all Patriots balls were illegally deflated while all measured Colts balls were within legal limits," 3) The suppression of relevant evidence that could be beneficial to Brady and 4) The NFL's reliance on the "pseudo-science" from Exponent to arrive at a false conclusion that science alone could not explain the drop in ball pressure, Blecker takes aim at the league's own basis for its latest appeal: "Unless the award was procured through fraud or dishonesty, mere disagreement with the arbitrator’s legal or factual conclusions is manifestly insufficient to justify vacatur of an award.”

"Naturally, the NFL summarily characterizes its own investigation as full and fair, emphasizing a Commissioner’s unfettered discretion to define and punish conduct detrimental to the integrity of the sport. However from the start, the NFL’s investigation, adjudication, and punishment of Tom Brady for actively participating in a scheme to illegally tamper with ball pressure has been infected with bias, unfairness, evident partiality and occasional fraud."

"In essence, Blecker flips the script on the NFL's contention that the New England Patriots star's conduct was detrimental to the league, accusing Goodell of just that by inciting the public's mistrust in the NFL."

Maybe it's time to replace Goodell?

We don't have to look very hard or very long to find way too many examples of Goodell's complete lack of control of the NFL and its players, with players actions ranging from domestic violence to murder. Seems the only thing Goodell has very much under control is his compensation. Aside from that, Goodell is and has been lacking in just about every part of his job description: "Roger Goodell made more than $44 million last year. Wait, what?", Web Link

"The NFL commissioner's job is hard. You have to train all year, hope to make a team because your contract isn't guaranteed, all to hopefully avoid concussions and any other major injuries slamming into super-sized human beings on Sundays."

"Wait, wait. Players have that job. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just sits in a nice New York office most days."

"And here's the problem. The highest annual average salary in history is Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at $22 million. Goodell doubled that in a 12-month period ending on March 31 of last year."

"Yes, Goodell doubled the highest salary in league history, making more than FORTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS."

Goodell makes that ($44.2 million in total compensation, to be exact) even though the players he is looking over play the most dangerous major sport there is and many are getting paid just a fraction of the commissioner's salary – and even less if they get a hefty fine for a hit the league deems illegal, or wearing their socks too low.


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